Traditional gardening involves plenty of time spend digging in the soil. Although this may be enjoyable for some gardeners, gardening without soil may improve your harvest and take up less space. Replacing soil medium with a liquid solution, known as hydroponic gardening, can result in healthy vegetable, herb and flower plants. While some commercial greenhouses employ this technique on a large scale, you can enjoy growing a few hydroponic plants inside your own home.
Select the type of plants you want to grow in your hydroponic garden. Many types of vegetables and herbs require large garden plots, as well as full sunlight. For your indoor garden, consider growing beans, broccoli, lettuce, radishes and strawberry plants.
Measure the opening in the top of your tank, subtracting half-an-inch from each measurement. Draw the dimensions on your piece of Styrofoam. Use a sharp knife to cut the rectangular shape from the Styrofoam sheeting. Set your tank in its permanent location. Place your hydroponic tank under a grow light or in an area inside your home that receives at least eight hours of sunlight each day.
Place your air stone inside your tank. Hook the plastic tubing to the connections on the air stone and the pump, setting the pump on a surface outside your tank.
Mix your hydroponic solution with the recommended amount of water. Pour the solution into your tank, filling your tank to a level about 2 inches below the upper rim.
Set your pots upside down on your Styrofoam sheeting, evenly spaced. Cut holes in your Styrofoam sheeting slightly smaller than the outside rims of your small pots. Fill your pots with your perlite. Place two or three seeds in each pot and cover with a layer of peat equal to twice the diameter of your seeds.
Place the pots into the holes you cut in your Styrofoam sheeting, pressing down until the rims are slightly above the surface of the Styrofoam. Set the Styrofoam and pots into your tank, allowing the structure to float on the top of the hydroponic solution.
Plug in your pump and adjust the airflow to provide a small, steady stream of bubbles into the solution. A low setting allows the air to circulate, without churning the water.
Siphon off about half your solution each week, replacing that amount with fresh solution. Siphon from the lower portion of your tank, away from your plants roots. Begin harvesting your herbs, fruits and vegetables as they reach maturity.